Kinoeye: New perspectives on European film

Vol 3
Issue 9
15 Sept

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Ať žije film! (Long live film!)
Karel Kachyna's 50 years in cinema

An instrumental figure in the late 1950s revival of Czech film, Kachyna, working with writer Jan Procházka, went on to become a leading figure of the Czechoslovak New Wave. His works throughout his career are marked by an interest in youth and growing up, rural and isolated environments, outcasts and their conflicts with society and a strong sense of visual composition. Kinoeye explores the director's oeuvre.

Karel Kachyna's Kocar do Vidne (Coach to Vienna, 1966)Generation 57
and beyond

A portrait of Karel Kachyna

Kachyna's films from the 1960s have given him the most fame internationally, but he has also produced popular and enduring works in the other four decades he has worked in. Dora Viceníková surveys the director's career.

Czech video cover for Karel Kachyna's Kocar do Vidne (Coach to Vienna, 1966)A sixties trilogy
Three films from Kachyna's "black series"

Kachyna achieved his best known and most poetic work when working in collaboration with the writer Jan Procházka. Peter Hames charts the fruits of that collaboration in a trio of films from the golden age of Czech film-making.

Karel Kachyna's Ucho (The Ear, 1970)FROM THE ARCHIVE
Who's afraid of...
Big Brother?

Kachyna's Ucho (The Ear, 1970)

Initially noted for its brave political stance, Ucho is now just as remarkable for its pared-down asthetics and unsparing view of a personal relationship in an Orwellian state. Steven Jay Schneider revisits the film.

Karel Kachyna's Lasky mezi kapkami deste (Love Between Rain Drops</i>, 1979)After the black wave
Poetry and tragedy in the post-1960s
films of Karel Kachyna

After the dramatically tense "black series" he made in the 1960s, Kachyna turned to melodrama and nostalgia. Ivana Košulicová traces the directors development of his favourite themes in this contrasting style.

Karel Kachyna's Uz zase skacu pres kaluze (I'm Jumping Over Puddles Again, 1970)The sentimental
world of children

Kachyna's Už zase skácu pres kaluže (I'm Jumping Over Puddles Again, 1970)

Throughout his career, Kachyna made films that took up that perspective of young people. Dora Viceníková analyses how the director used this theme to sentimental effect in one of his post-1960s films.

Karel Kachyna's Sestricky (Nurses, 1983)Maturity to the bone
Kachyna's Sestrícky (Nurses, 1983)

Kachyna's work in the 1980s is sometimes seen as compromised compared to the bold stance his work in the 60s took. Markéta Dvorácková looks at one of his "typicals" and shows in what ways it conformed to the era it was made in but also how it continued the director's lifelong themes.

Karel Kachyna's Krava (The Cow, 1993)Surviving pre-modern melancholia
Kachyna's Kráva (The Cow, 1993)

Kráva comes close to the poetry of Kachyna's 1960s films but lacks the inventive use of image, editing and narrative structure. Andrew James Horton argues that this is a deliberate strategy to underline the film's folk philosophy.

From the archive

Jaromil Jires's Valerie a tyden divu (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, 1970)HORROR
Transgression, transformation and titillation
Jaromil Jireš's Valerie a týden divu (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, 1970)

Tanya Krzywinska examines one of the most surreal and unforgettable fantasy-horror films of Czech cinema, probing Valerie a týden divu for its mythic connections and allegorical import.

Jiri Barta's Krysar (The Pied Piper, 1985)HORROR
Magic against materialism
Czech animator
Jirí Barta interviewed

Barta's inventive and often grotesque animations have railed against the evils of consumerism. However, since 1989, as the director tells Phil Ballard, the capitalist world has presented him with a more practical challenge.

Ať žije film!: Karel Kachyna's 50 years in cinema
Edited by Ivana Košulicová
Horror section edited by Steven Jay Schneider.

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